Vintage Modified 70's Stratocaster review by Squier

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (25 votes)
Squier: Vintage Modified 70's Stratocaster
2

Price paid: $ 249.99

Purchased from: The Laboratory, Bellmawr, NJ

Sound — 9
The Duncan Designed SC-101s do a good job, I like them better than the Classic Vibe SC pickups (personal taste, these are a little raspier-sounding to me). They sound great thru my Tubescreamer/Pignose 7-100 combination of choice. Thru the AC30 Pod Farm model I record with, it's Rainbow-era Blackmore all the way, as fits the look of the guitar. I also like the Big Muff Pi or DS-1 for distortion tones, and this Strat loves all of them. There are higher-end pickups to be sure, but these perform admirably and with very little noise.

Overall Impression — 9
I like to play rock, of the punk, blues, and metal varieties depending on how I feel from one day to the next and who I'm playing with. Been playing for 20 years (Jesus I'm getting old) and when I became a casualty of the Bush Recession 4 years ago, I had to sell my Yngwie Strat while I was between jobs. I'm not going to tell you this is to the level of that USA Malmsteen Strat, but it's damn close, and the distance in quality is a hell of a lot less than the difference in price. If Fender offered these VM's and Classic Vibes in a wider selection of colors, they'd never sell another Fender-branded instrument again. This current crop of Squiers is that good. The Squier Vintage Modified 70's Stratocaster is a hell of a value and a great instrument to play. I might get the black one just to put some buckers in it cause why not.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I keep hearing about how soft basswood is, so time will tell on that one. Feels solid to me, but I can see the screws potentially stripping the wood if it is that soft. Strap buttons and trem claw screws are in there pretty solid though, no complaints there.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Setup was good, everything matched the inspection tag the guitar came with. I made my own adjustments, but that was just to get the instrument to my taste. Finish was perfect, fingerboard and fretwork was spot-on, everything checked out. A testament to the genius design of this instrument, that they can put it together for so little and with budget materials, and it still plays and sounds like a pro-level guitar.

Features — 8
Crafted in Indonesia, 2011. Classic 70's Strat dimensions, 21-fret CBS-style large headstock, Vintage tuners with the little hole in the bottom to stick your string end in so they don't look all ragged and poke you in your eyes. Useful feature they never shoulda got rid of. Locking tuners are unnecessary if you wind your pegheads right and stretch your strings. Basswood body, Vintage White (Banana Pudding) finish. Duncan Designed SC-101 pickups, 5-way switching, Vol-Tone-Tone controls (no Tone control on bridge pickup, just balls-out all the time. They gave me a gig bag with it cause they're cool guys. It's a perfectly proportioned and well-made Strat that feels Fender all they way. Neck feels right, in a way the SX Strat copy I traded in didn't. Only gave it an 8 because of the cheapo pot-metal skinny trem-block that I replaced as soon as I brought it home. But all Squier Strats have that block so I won't hold it against this model.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Krackula
    Necessary if you do heavy tremelo work.
    I disagree - I wham just like ka-BLAM, and I stay in tune just fine, thank you very much! Long as it's set up right, I've never had any real issues with the standard 6-screw Fender trem. I do think the 2-point model travels a little bit smoother, but that's some serious picking of the nits. I also don't disagree that locking tuners make string changes faster and easier to do, but as I see it the reason regular tuners are still used is that locking tuners add cost which either turns shopper off or eats into company profits. But I'm going maximum bang-for-my-buck here, and I prefer these split-shaft vintage tuners over the standard regulation Grover style because they give me a place to put the clipped end of the string.
    thegreasefire
    This really is an excellent guitar for the cash. I plugged it in at the shop that I work the day it came in, and was pleasantly surprised. Played some Sabbath riffs and such, and the pickups worked very best. I'm not really much of a strat guy (not even going to mention my feelings on the tremelo system and such) but this one here actually suited my taste quite well! Definitely my favorite Squier Strat I've tried.
    Ibeanez
    Locking tuners are unnecessary if you wind your pegheads right and stretch your strings.
    Necessary if you do heavy tremelo work. Of course, you can say any high end gear is unnecessary. Aside from that, faster and easier restrings. Regular tuners are only still around because people are slow to change.
    Ibeanez
    Krackula wrote: Necessary if you do heavy tremelo work. I disagree - I wham just like ka-BLAM, and I stay in tune just fine, thank you very much! Long as it's set up right, I've never had any real issues with the standard 6-screw Fender trem. I do think the 2-point model travels a little bit smoother, but that's some serious picking of the nits. I also don't disagree that locking tuners make string changes faster and easier to do, but as I see it the reason regular tuners are still used is that locking tuners add cost which either turns shopper off or eats into company profits. But I'm going maximum bang-for-my-buck here, and I prefer these split-shaft vintage tuners over the standard regulation Grover style because they give me a place to put the clipped end of the string.
    When I said heavy tremolo work, a 6-screw Fender trem wasn't quite what I had in mind, but to each his own.
    CalebYo
    Yeah I get what you mean. I have a friend with a shecter Damien(yuck) and he basically has to have locking tuners.
    jeffo46
    I had the chance to try out one of these at Guitar Center and they blow away any MIM Fender Standard Strat. I definately want one !
    acquonroblox
    I have this guitar and it is now a little more than a year old. For being a teenager with no income, I have a pretty decent setup including this guitar, a fender mustang 1 amp, and a boss me 25 multi effect pedal. All together this guitar is a semi-cheap good sounding guitar. The neck is soo smoothe and slick. The pickups sound great, pick up tapping and pinch harmonics well, and overall this guitar is great. Definetely reccomend it to anyone.